April 07, 2009

Pain In The Ass

Now, I am not talking about someone irritating that I dislike. I am actually talking about myself. For the last 2 weeks, I literally suffered from pain in the ass. What? Hemorrhoids (aka piles) … you see, I had piles for a while already but just did not want to do anything about it. According to statistics found on the internet, 50% of people above age 45 have piles. Surprise? I was surprised too when I read this. Many people got this problem but are just too embarrassed to talk about it. Like me, when it did not cause any pain or discomfort, I could not be bother with it. It went on for a while and finally it reached a point that I can no longer ignore it and have to go for treatment. I was recommended to a good doctor and was advised to do a “rubber band ligation” procedure by the doctor. Let me share my experience so that maybe it could be a big help for those who are too shy to discuss it.

Rubber band ligation” procedure is a fairly simple procedure where the doctor uses a device to tie a rubber band around the base of the pile. This will stop the blood feeding the pile and naturally (over a few days) it will shrink and fall off. Simple? Yes, I had 5 piles ligated in about 30 minutes. Everything’s OK? NO … immediately after the procedure, the trouble starts. First the pain kicks in and not just the pain, also the uncomfortable feeling around the rectum. The rectum starts to swell and it feels like you have several marbles inserted inside. I also got this terrible urge to go to the toilet. But as the doctor said, it is not that the bowel is full, it is due to the swelling. Then I find it difficult to urinate. This was due to the urinary muscle being affected by the swelling. But after a few hours, I manage to pass urine and you can imagine how relived I was.

The first couple of days were absolutely hell. I cannot sit, cannot stand, cannot lie down and cannot sleep. The pain killers did little to ease my misery. The pain, swelling and urge (to go to the toilet) was really bothering me. I lost appetite and did not eat much. I was also afraid of eating too much and then have a difficult bowel movement. Every time I have bowel movement, it is painful and causes a bit of swelling again. And you get this feeling like you did not completely discard everything and still have some lumps in it. It was quite uncomfortable.

A few days went by and it got a bit better but the swelling still did not subside. I felt less pain and have better bowel movement every morning. Since the procedure, I stuck to a very strict diet of soft food, fruits, vegetables and high fiber supplements. That kept the stool soft and easily discarded during bowel movements.

By the time I finished the two weeks of medication prescribed by the doctor, I was a lot more relieved that the swelling and pain subsided considerably. I was told that for full recovery, I need another 2 weeks. I lost a total of 7kg. But I don’t think anyone would like to lose weight this way.

I am not trying to scare you with the gory details but I believe it is good to share this information. For those who are suffering quietly from piles, get it treated as soon as possible. Do not wait (like me) until it get worse because it will be a lot more painful when you go for treatment then. I suggest you find out what types of piles you have and what stage they are in. Also, very importantly, seek out various treatments that are suitable for you. There is a lot of information on piles and the treatments available on the internet. By all means, consult a specialist on what is the best treatment for you.

Strain, constipation, stress and pregnancy are a few main reasons that cause piles to form. Watch your everyday diet and ensure that you have enough fiber intake and proper bowel movement. I hope you will not have to be a “pain in the ass” like me. Stay healthy!